Posts Tagged kitschy coo

The Dress that Nearly broke the Camel’s Back….

…Or mine anyway!Dress pattern

It should have been so easy!  It was a pattern that came free with a sewing magazine that I picked up a while back on a trip to the U.K.  I like the shape with the darts back and front and, who knows, I might even get around to making the jacket one day.  The fabric was bought locally in France  – a rare event – and was reasonably priced but a good quality cotton.

What could go wrong?

Well, almost everything as it happened.

It started off well with lovely neat french seams and I even managed a perfectly acceptable invisible zip insertion but then I decided I didn’t like the facing around the neck.  It made the neckline seem stiff and seemed to be pulling the top of the dress out of shape.   That’s when it all started to go horribly wrong.  Pear shaped, in fact.

Nightmare Dress (2)

I took off the facing and replaced it with bias binding.  Then I didn’t like the way the binding had gone on and, anyway, it turned out that it wasn’t just the facing pulling it out of shape there were other issues too.

Nightmare Dress (3)

The darts were pulling on both back and front.  Crosswise and downwards.  The back was pulling tight either side of the zip.

In some places, it was too big – around the neck for instance and in others, it was too small but only on one side.

Basically, it didn’t fit me.

This trauma was a while ago now – I’ve only just been able to bring myself to blog about it – so I can’t even remember the amount of different fitting issues there were with this dress and the more I messed around with it, the worse it got and the more I hated it.

Nightmare Dress (1)


So I decided, on this occasion, to admit defeat and might give it another go in the Spring (‘perhaps the silly cat will make a muslin next time’ I hear you say!!) but, in the meantime, the fabric has already come in useful here and there and will continue to do so as it’s that sort of fabric – a good blender.

Anvil Block

To get back on that horse  sewing machine before I got too depressed I decided to make an old favourite – Kitschy Coo’s Lady Skater dress – which (almost) never fails me and found this knit fabric that I bought in Toulouse before my fabric fast began.  It sort of reminds me of a splodgy impressionist painting.

ProcessSkaterDress (3)

This time I remembered the clear elastic at the waist – my favourite Lady Skater dress (below) has to be pulled down over my body like putting sausagemeat in a skin because I forgot the elastic last time and just used twill tape to stabilize.  Never again.  But it is my favourite so I persevere and hope I never have an accident and have to be taken to hospital wearing this dress because they will have to cut me out of it.

Lady Skater Grey & White (3)

ProcessSkaterDress (1)

Clear elastic – a complete pain to attach but worth it – trust me!

ProcessSkaterDress (2)

The Lady Skater shows you a nice easy way to attach the neckband to the dress – only one shoulder is sewn up – and although you need lots of pins and risk your overlocker’s blade every inch or so (or is that just me?)  the results are nice and neat and you feel a little glow of pride (probably also just me.)

ProcessSkaterDress (4)

So now I’m back on the sewing horse again but I’m in knitting mode at the moment – with a bit of patchwork thrown in – so, although I’m going to make one of these in plain purple for Mlle. T. the Younger, after that I might not be sewing any more clothes until next year.  Although I never say never. Unless it’s something like ‘I’m never (knowingly) going to eat an anchovy again’ or ‘I’m never going on a sea cruise because I know I’ll get hideously sea sick and I don’t think I’d like the onboard entertainment’.

LadySkaterImpressionist (2)

Do you persevere with projects that go horribly wrong or do you always try to put it right?



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Little Liberties

Regular readers will know I love Liberty fabric and use it whenever I can but, there comes a time, and my time came a while ago, when a pastel pink floral Liberty print dress will not look good on you.  I would put the limit at, maybe, 25 years old but you may differ.  It is possible I believe, and hope as I have done it,  to make blouses and other tops with a ditsy, floral Liberty print and get away with it but, dresses, no. **

I have lined bunny ears with it, made coin purses and fabric storage baskets but I wanted more from my Liberty stash.

So, as I long ago left the age of 25 behind, I decided to make teeny tiny dresses in order to indulge my addiction.

Here are a few I’ve finished or semi-finished.

Little Liberty dresses

Actually, that last one in red and white is Tilda fabric but you get my drift.

I have even been using Liberty of London cotton jersey to make miniature skater dresses like my Lady one.  It’s a good use  of my new overlocker and I still can’t get over how the seams look so professional when done on a proper serger.  The cotton jersey is gorgeous but it is quite difficult to find, especially in prints that are suitable for very little girls.  These ones were from Sewbox who have quite a good range of Liberty fabrics at reasonable prices.

Liberty of London Baby Dress

This one is teeny, for 0-3 months, it makes me feel quite broody although that’s something else I have passed the limit for.  Perhaps the dogs would like a dress.  Somebody stop me!

** I must here mention a notable exception because there is a blog I follow ‘The Little Tailoress’ and she made a ditsy, pink, floral Liberty dress and looks damn gorgeous in it.  She is, however, probably only 25 or very near to it anyway.  You can see it here.

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Lady Skater Dress No.1

I call it No. 1 because I just know I’m going to be making more of these.

This great grown up skater dress pattern from Kitschy Coo is perfect for those of you, like me, who have a fear of fabric with one or more of the following words in the title – ‘knit’, ‘stretch’, ‘jersey’, ‘lycra’.  This is a downloadable pattern which you tape together and there is a full, illustrated tutorial or, for the more cocky  advanced amongst you, a crib sheet with more ‘to the point’ instructions.  Also, loads of help on Kitschy Coo’s blog for sewing with knit fabric.

This actually started out as my muslin because I had bagged the fabric at a bargain price and thought it wouldn’t matter if I screwed up but, Mlle T. the younger has a thing for roses at the moment and it swiftly became a ‘wearable muslin’.  She’s still a reluctant model though and made me cut her head off , photographically speaking, so don’t think it’s just bad camera work on my part.

Lady Skater No.1

It’s a shame that the pattern doesn’t match up at the waistband although I have somehow managed to match it up at the sleeves which was, I have to admit, completely by happenstance (don’t you just love that word!).  I think it would look really cool with a wide belt round it  so you won’t even notice and, anyway, it was meant to be a muslin.

Skater Dress - Back VIewI’m quite happy with the back too – not too many untoward wrinkles going on.  I just need to hem it  – she’s too young for knee length – but I was so chuffed with it and posing opportunities with my younger model are so rare that I couldn’t wait and snapped it straight off the machine.  I am a convert to jersey fabric now – even more so than when I made the Renfrew – and I’m already planning my second and perhaps third version.  I’ve just got to get a baby quilt out of the way – must get on, it’s due in a couple of weeks – and then I’m free to play with stretchy, knitty, 5% lycra-y things again – see, those words don’t scare me anymore and I haven’t even got an overlocker.

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What’s The Plural Of ‘Tardis’?

Madamoiselle Tialys the elder has now left to go back to University in the U.K.

I am pleased to get my workroom back to myself but I don’t think I’m going to enjoy myself quite so much.  Having persuaded me to fork out a small fortune on postage to get this fabric from the U.S., she was determined to get the most out of a metre.

(Just pointing out,  for those of you who don’t know about Dr. Who and his time machine that looks like an old fashioned British police telephone box – or ‘the tardis’ as it is known to us Whovians – that is the design on the fabric.)

Tardis Skirt

Tardis Project 1

Dr. Who Phone CoverTardis Project 2

Tardis HairbowTardis Project 3

Dr. Who Bandana BibTardis Project 4 (plus we had just enough over to get another bandana bib out of it

Not bad for a metre of fabric and, because she has proved her addiction  dedication to the delights of sewing, a Janome sewing machine is winging its way to her appartment as we speak.

Now, does anybody know the plural of Tardis?  Tardises? or, my preference, Tardi?  Or, being only one of them in the entire universe – as far as we know – can it be said that no plural exists?

Meanwhile, I’m inching reluctantly back towards the rather more grown up and down to earth by making a skater dress for Mlle. Tialys the younger.  She has a thing for  roses at the moment, preferably partnered with skulls but she’ll have to make do with polka dots this time.  I downloaded this pattern from Kitschy Coo and, after having a playschool hour or so cutting it out and taping it together, I have semi-assembled the bodice for fit but we can’t decide on cap, 3/4 or long sleeves.


If it turns out well, I’m going to make one for myself in a Liberty print jersey and I’ve already decided on 3/4 length sleeves for mine.   Hmm…..back to normality.

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